Scientific CV

Since March 2020 I am Juan de la Cierva researcher at the Insituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), dedicated to the search of extrasolar planets and the study of stellar magnetic activity. Before that I was a a post-doctoral researcher at the IAC and at the Observatory of Geneva (Department of Astronomy of the University of Geneva), and before a PhD student at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the University of La Laguna (ULL). My PhD thesis deals with the search of low mass extrasolar planets using high resolution spectroscopy. It was also focused on the detection and characterization of radial velocity signals induced by stellar activity, which can be easily mistaken for planetary signals.

To this day, my work has resulted in 9 first-author articles, 67 articles as co-author, as well as 19 talks and 7 posters.

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Research Projects

ESPRESSO GTO (2019 – ): International collaboration dedicated to the design, construction and scientific exploitaition of the spectrograph ESPRESSO, installed at the VLT telescope array of the Paranel Observatory (Chile). The main goals are the search and characterization of extrasolar planets through radial velocity measurements and transmission spectroscopy.

NIRPS GTO (2019 – ): International collaboration dedicated to the design, construction and scientific exploitation of the future spectrograph NIRPS, which will be installed at the 3.6m ESO telescope of the La Silla osbervatory (Chile). The spectrograph will work as an infrared arm to the HARPS spectrograph. The main goals are the search and characterization of extrasolar planets through radial velocity measurements and transmission spectroscopy.

IACSAT TAJINASTE (2021 – ): Designt and construction of a small space telescope which will obtain high precision photometry in visible and near-infrared light, and low resolution spectroscopy in the near ultraviolet.

HADES (2013 – ): Colaboration between spanish (IAC and IEEC) and italian (GAPS consortium) institutions dedicated to the search of low-mass planets orbiting nearby M-dwarfs.

RoPES (2014 – ): Project hosted at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias centered around the search for low-mass planets orbiting nearby solar type stars.

Terra Hunting Experiment (2022 – ): Project aimed at the search for an Earth-twin orbiting a nearby star. Led by Nobel Prize winner Didier Queloz.

ANDES (2022 – ): Next generation high-resolution spectrograph for the ESO ELT telescope.

Major achievements

  • Determination of the masses of the young planets V1298 Tau b and e, which defy current models of planetary evolution (Nature Astronomy, 2021)
  • Major contribution to the mass measurement of the lightest planet characterized with radial velocity, L 98-59 b, with just half the mass of Venus (2021)
  • Confirmation of the presence of the earth-mass planet orbiting Proxima, using ESPRESSO observations (2020)
  • Participation in the discovery of a cold super-Earth orbiting Barnard’s star (Nature, 2018)
  • Discovery of a system of 2 super-Earths orbiting the nearby K-dwarf HD 176986 (2018)
  • Development relationship between the amplitude of activity induced RV signals and ther mean level of chromospheric activity of the stars (2017-2018)
  • Measurements of rotation periods, magnetic cycles and activity induced RV signals in tens of FGKM-dwarfs, including the discovery of several magnetic cycles in fully convective M-dwarfs such as Proxima (2015-2018)
  • Discovery of a 2.8 Earth-masses super-Earth on the inner edge of the habitable zone of the nearby M-dwarf GJ 625 (2017)
  • Discovery of a super Earth orbiting the nearby M-dwarf GJ 536 (2017)
  • Recalibration of the log R’hk activity proxy for stars with B-V 0.5 to 1.9 and development of a rotation vs activity relationship for slowly rotating late-type dwarfs (2015)

Taining and experience

  • Juan de la Cierva researcher at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (2020 – …)
  • Post-doctoral researcher at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (2019 – 2020)
  • Post-doctoral researcher at the University of Geneva (2016 – 2019)
  • PhD in Astrophysics, University of La Laguna (2012 – 2016)
  • Master in Astrophysics, University of La Laguna (2012 – 2014)
  • Bachelor in Physics, University of Oviedo (2004 – 2011)